Visitors to Khartoum, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, met on Wednesday, January 6, with the Sudanese transitional authorities, civilian and military. On the agenda: relief of Sudan’s debt and normalization of relations with Israel.
as reported from Khartoum, Eliott Brachet
Sudan and the United States continue their cooperation, which has begun since the fall of the Omar al-Bashir regime in 2019. A few weeks later the official withdrawal of Sudan from the list of states supporting terrorism, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin paid a quick visit to Khartoum, during which he increased the number of meetings and signed two major agreements with the Sudanese authorities.
The first is financial. The United States promises to help Sudan repay $ 1 billion in debt to the World Bank. Sudan will therefore be able to obtain new loans of around 1 billion. $ A year, as it had been denied for almost 30 years during the reign of Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan hopes to benefit from this international assistance to develop its infrastructure, but above all to ease the burden of the great economic crisis in which the country has collapsed, with galloping inflation and a huge debt reaching $ 60 billion .
Normalization with Israel
The second part of this visit on Wednesday, Sudan also took a new step towards normalization of its relations with Israel. Khartoum has promised to abide by the United States-sponsored Abrahamic Agreements to rehabilitate the Hebrew state in the Middle East.
Khartoum and Tel Aviv have already warmed up their relationship in recent months. Several Israeli delegations went to Khartoum, Tel Aviv promised to send tons of wheat to Sudan so the government could not lift the subsidies. But there is still a condition on the Sudanese side: Parliament, which is still not formed, will have to vote on the country’s adherence to Abraham’s agreements or not.
Another topic raised during this visit was negotiations around the renaissance dam in Ethiopia, which crystallizes tensions with Egypt and Sudan. The United States has acted as a mediator in these talks, which are due to continue next Sunday.
The visit of the US Secretary of State must be remembered. This is a first of this level in several years. It marks Washington’s desire to help Sudan reintegrate the nations’ concert and recover.
Since the fall of General Omar al-Bashir two years ago, the country has been led by a team that brings together civilians and soldiers. But these transition leaders are struggling to get the country out of a serious economic crisis. Washington appears to be determined to accompany them for a lasting return of the military to the barracks to leave the country’s leadership to civilians.
This return in favor of Khartoum with the United States may allow Sudan to become attractive again to international investors, although there is still a pitfall: its capacity to reduce deficits and repay its debt remains very low.